Blog / The Basics of Cloud to Cloud Backups
You don’t need to be a qualified IT professional to understand that backing up your data is absolutely essential for modern organizations. It’s a bit of wisdom so well known it’s practically common knowledge. However, just because the concept is understood and the practice widespread doesn’t mean there isn’t hidden complexity. In rapidly evolving industries like information technology there are always new features, products, and processes coming online, even for mature practices like backing up data. That’s where Cloud to Cloud (C2C) backups come into play.
C2C backups are relatively new and so may initially seem redundant, which cloud backups ultimately are. However, this view is usually the result of mistaken assumptions about what they’re for and how they’re used. That’s why we put together this short introduction to the basics of Cloud to Cloud backups. Even businesses looking to trim their IT budgets can find value in them.
What are Cloud to Cloud backups?
Although they’re relatively new and IT jargon is often deceptive to the layman, don’t worry about this term. Cloud to Cloud backups are exactly what they sound like; they duplicate data from one cloud storage solution onto another to create a backup copy. Using two separate cloud providers is by far the most common method, although it is technically possible for the same provider to host two different clouds and thus provide both your original and backup storage solutions. Doing so severely undermines some of the business continuity benefits of keeping a backup in the first place.
On the other hand, it is important to recognize that C2C backups are only backups. Too often, backups of any kind are confused with archives. Archiving data is a different process and serves a different purpose.
What are their benefits over other backups?
In addition to keeping your data assets safe, Cloud to Cloud backups have plenty of benefits beyond other backup options. Foremost among these is the ability to convert potentially huge capital expenses into easily digested operational expenses. Rather than building in-house infrastructure, you just pay a monthly subscription fee. This is especially important for smaller organizations without the same resources to invest heavily in backups. C2C backups are also easily scalable, whereas scaling on-site backups can lead to even more capital expenses.
What’s more, C2C backups offer more protection that relying on cloud storage protection from SaaS options like G-Suite or Microsoft 365. Make no mistake, these providers have robust security, but it’s implemented from the provider’s perspective with the purpose of protecting them from liability and keeping their systems running. If you’re looking to protect your cloud data properly, backing it up in a different cloud, preferably one your IT service provider operates, is the more secure option. Properly implemented C2C backups often provides additional benefits, such as longer file retention periods (to recover documents or Emails accidentally deleted), and disaster recovery services which allow your systems and files to be made available “online” to users within minutes if your primary system is down.
What are their drawbacks?
Just because they’re shiny and new doesn’t mean Cloud to Cloud backups don’t have some downsides. Foremost among these is dark data, which is information that has been collected, processed, and stored, only to never be seen again. Worse, it can often contain sensitive information, making it more of a threat than just a nuisance. Although dark data is dangerous regardless of the backup type it may have been duplicated on, C2C backups are often charged by usage. Even if your dark data isn’t dangerous, it can be needlessly more costly if it’s allowed to accumulate first on your primary cloud and then again on your backup.
While backing up your data to a second cloud is more secure than leaving it in the hands of SaaS providers protecting themselves, cloud backups are still on the internet and still subject to attack. Depending on the kind of information you collect (health and dental records, for example), it’s entirely possible an offline backup solution for your online cloud storage is still best for you.
Should my business use them?
Whether Cloud to Cloud backups are appropriate for your organization depends on many different factors. Business with deep pockets that collect highly sensitive information are likely best served by traditional, offline backup options despite the possible need for large capital expenditures. On the other hand, SMBs with little storage requirements will likely benefit from the low monthly costs and ease of use. Regardless, it’s important to consider your options carefully. Consulting with a managed service provider is a valuable first step, as long as they keep your business needs and strategy at the forefront of the conversation. Focusing on business rather than technology itself will always the mark of a good service provider.
And a final word of caution, it all sounds great until you go to use it. Backups and C2C systems need to be regularly tested and verified to ensure they can deliver on promises when you most need them.
If you have any questions about how Cloud to Cloud backups can help you meet your business IT goals, contact a TRINUS account manager today.
The TRINUS Team